Chef Mavro

 April 17, 2011

1969 South King Street Honolulu, HI

To celebrate our wedding anniversary this year, my wife and I decided to check out one of the highly reputable restaurants in Hawaii that neither of us have been to before. I constantly drive by Chef Mavro and wonder what culinary treasures lay within the unassuming walls. I have always heard great things about Chef Mavro and tonight I finally got to experience all that this brilliant chef has to offer.

What really has drawn me to try Chef Mavro recently is the menu setup. Chef Mavro features tasting menus that change frequently based on seasonal ingredients. I know that during the winter he was coming off a truffle specialized menu (since winter is truffle season) and now in Spring he is focusing back on wine pairings. Chef Mavro brings to the local culinary scene something different and refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the whole Pacific fusion thing we have going on here in Hawaii with Roy’s and Alan Wong’s, but I really would like to see more places like Chef Mavro with the constantly changing menu, creating new and unique recipes to excite our palates. I’ve had one such experience in Honolulu prior to tonight’s dinner, and I am very much looking forward to seeing that young chef open his own restaurant here in the islands one day (crossing my fingers).

But enough rambling! Tonight my wife and I chose the 6 course tasting menu with a small substitution here and there. Chef Mavro is very open to letting you customize your own tasting menu which is very nice. Here are all the things we experienced:

Amuse – Ma’o Farms tomato gazpacho w/ olive oil micro croutons.

Course 1 (wife’s) – Lomilomi Confit Hamachi, house cured salmon, Wow Farm tomato & ikura.

Course 1 (mine) – Foie Gras Parfait, green apple kanten, ume coulis, baby shiso & sweetbread pain perdu.

Course 2 – Truffle Egg Osmose. Peterson Farm egg cured in truffle for 4 days, truffle infused potato mousseline & serrano ham. Fresh truffle shavings on top.

Course 3 – Keahole Lobster a la Coque. English pea puree gnocchi au gratin, roma tomato confit & lemongrass lobster essence.

Course 4 – 100% Wagyu Beef. Strip loin pave crusted with parsley-lemon-hanapepe salt. Braished short rip, picked radish, red pepper-tomato gelee & charred leeks.

Course 5 – Fourme D’Ambert Tarte. Burgundy wine marinated dates, extra virgin olive oil crust, asian pear musclun tossed w/ hazelnut-sherry vinaigrette.

Course 6 (mine) – Lilikoi Malasads. Guava coulis & pineapple-coconut ice cream.

Course 6 (wife’s) – Valrhona Chocolate Cremeux. Espresso brownie, pistachio sand, black current coulis & espresso ice cream.

Very rarely do I dine somewhere and walk away thinking “Wow, this meal has changed my understanding of food.” Tonight was one of those nights! From the most amazing amuse of gazpacho I’ve tasted in a long time all the way through to dessert, Chef Mavro really took us on a journey of his culinary genius. While everything was good, there were definitely some standouts! My most favorite dishes of the night:

  • Foie Gras Parfait – This sounds like an odd dish, but it is very delicious! Foie gras presented in a way that I haven’t seen before and in such a delicate and rich preparation. I could take the foie gras and slather it over anything and it would taste sublime.
  • Truffle Egg Osmose – By far our FAVORITE dish of the evening. I’ve had great eggs, even awesome eggs, before. But this is one of those dishes that you taste and it changes your whole perception of what an ingredient could be. I never knew eggs could taste this ridiculously good. We were lucky in that Chef Mavro still had a few truffles left from the Winter season. If he sold this dish for breakfast, I’d stand in line to make sure I got one before it ran out!
  • Keahole Lobster a la Coque – Ask my wife and she’ll tell you, I hate peas. I never liked them in any preparation I’ve had before. But the English pea puree gnocchi au gratin in this dish once again changed my perception of food. If peas were cooked like this all the time, I’d eat them up. The lobster was very moist, sweet, and tender. The lemongrass lobster essense was beautiful as well.
  • 100% Wagyu Beef – While the two pieces of beef themselves were what I would expect from Wagyu quality meat, the real winner in this dish for me was the beef jus. A waiter came to clear the plates but thought twice when he saw me dipping chunks of bread into the plate to soak up as much of the jus as I could!
  • Really everything we had was very good, but these above dishes were the real stars for me. Chef Mavro proved me to tonight that he deserves all the accolades that he receives. He has me kicking myself, wondering why I never dined here earlier. I will certainly be back to Chef Mavro one day, especially during truffle season when he has more of the Truffle Egg Osmose for me to consume!

    Chef Mavro
    1969 South King Street
    Honolulu, HI 96826

    Chef Mavro on Urbanspoon

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